Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea announced it raised $100 million in a Series B round of funding led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). This round follows a $23 million Series A investment in March, also led by a16z.
OpenSea was founded in 2017 by Alex Atallah and Devin Finzer. The company’s first seed round came from Y Combinator in January of 2018 at $120,000. Five months later, the marketplace raised $2 million, and in November of 2019, OpenSea raised another $2.1 million.
According to DappRadar, OpenSea accounts for the largest volume in cumulative sales among all NFT marketplaces. OpenSea has recorded $835 million in sales and ranks fourth in the number of traders, with 161,681 people, behind AtomicMarket, NBA Top Shot, and Axie Infinity. The latter two are ranked second and third in sales volume respectively.
OpenSea believes that NFTs will develop into consumer-oriented blockchain applications. They represent peer-to-peer economies where people have ownership and control over their data. The marketplace’s goal is to support a platform that enables all types of digital wealth to be converted into ownable and transferrable digital assets. The company is looking to “turn the internet from an information transfer machine into a value transfer machine”.
As a first step, OpenSea announced cross-blockchain support starting with the Polygon blockchain, where there will be no gas (transactions) fees. This aims to make NFTs more financially accessible.
In addition to a16z, other investors include Coatue, Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Dylan Field, Kevin Durant, Ashton Kutcher, and Tobi Lutke.
Meanwhile, Polygon just announced the launch of their own NFT studio. Other marketplaces entering the NFT space include Beeple’s WENEW, which launched over a month ago, Rarible, and Mark Cuban backed Mintable.